The road-sign for Saklıkent after the
Uğurlu cross-section on the Mugla-Antalya highway seems to herald
the way to another planet on earth. Beydağları, which is a portion
of the Western Taurus Mountains, is located to the north of
Fethiye in all its splendour. The rivers, running down from the
summits higher than three thousand meters, flow out to the
Mediterranean , forming deep valleys. Valleys and canyons are
readily encountered in many mountaneous regions of the world.
However, some formations are so impressive that it is almost like
visiting another planet. One of the most interesting formations is
located at the northeast of Fethiye, at a distance of forty-five
kilometers. Saklıkent...Perhaps the most narrow and mystical
canyon of the world. The daylight seeping through the hills cause
interesting plays of light among the rocks. With the contribution
of the waters running on the ground, the scene is completed.
The entrance to Saklıkent is by a suspended passageway mounted on
to the western wall. The first one or two kilometers can be
covered by everyone including the children. However, going deeper
into the canyon, there are more and more obstructions. Further
on, one has to climb up with the aid of ropes hanging on the walls
at certain points. After a few kilometers it is almost impossible
to go any further. However, even a walk of these few kilometers is
sufficient to appreciate the unusual beauty of the walls formed by
the flowing waters and passageways. While touring in Saklıkent, it
is necessary to wade in hip-high waters from time to time. In
other words, there is a price to pay for visiting such a beautiful
location: Getting your clothes and shoes wet. It would be
beneficial to take along flippers or rubber shoes for those
wishing to go deeper into the canyon. Climbing the top of the
canyon could be a pleasant adventure for lovers of trekking.
The top of the canyon is reached after an hours climb
through the tracks on the eastern wing. It is most exciting to
walk along the upper edge of the canyon. Karaçay, rumbling down
from the 700-meter walls of the canyon, joins Eşençay on the
plains and branches off. On the various branches of Karaçay there
are many restaurants among the green fields.
Here fresh trout and pancakes may be eaten, lying on
rafts. The exit from Saklıkent is almost a market place. On
counters of local villagers, natural products such as honey, olive
oil, thyme, sour pomegranates and carob molass are for sale.
With a length of thirteen kilometers, the Saklıkent Canyon is
one of the most difficult canyons to cross. Only a few people have
been able to traverse the whole canyon.
These groups, using the most professional equipment for
mountain climbing and cavern research, started their descent at
the entrance on top of the canyon and reached the exit after an
adventure lasting two and a half days. The most difficult part of
the Saklıkent Canyon is the descent from the waterfall located
mid-way, falling down from a height of 50 meters. The Saklıkent
Canyon, extending from Antalya to Mugla, hid itself over
centuries, deserving its name. Only in 1989, a shepherd named
Ekren discovered its existence while following his goats. After
this date, the place became a national park and a concrete road
was built to facilitate transportation. The Saklıkent Canyon is a
paradise on earth for those wishing to escape the scorching heat
of the Fethiye sun and to cool off in the refreshing waters.